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Thursday, November 23rd, 2017Last Update: Sunday, November 5th, 2017 11:44:31 PM

Oh, for a Muse of Mobishness : A Red Dirt-Kingdom for a Stage, with the People Causing Princes to Act

By: Andrew K. Boyle

Conservatives, long-established, have a noted fondness for politics-as-literature. Whereas our more wacky liberal friends see everything, including literature, as political; we cannot help but find political fulfillment in the pages of dystopian fantasy.

Truth be-told, conservatives take dishonest refuge in literature. As a young conservative I remember being passed the holy grail of all republicanism, a hard backed copy of Atlas Shrugged. Read cover to cover, with great fervor, all 23 linear inches of binding (approximate measurement.) I saw my world in every new character. Reardon Steel was to be my future employer, I would land a young Dagny Taggart and life would be so grand. I would live in a Utopian future of industry, innovation, tax-cuts and tax-credits. My faith based 501-3C would be eligible for government funding, and I too, would give 90 page speeches about money to breathlessly captive audiences.

It took me many years to finally admit the truth: Atlas Shrugged, the book with the highest sales (other than the not named The Bible), has real potential, but desperately needs some serious editing. A story that looks Nostradamus at times, yet it becomes farcical and painful to read somewhere between page 400 and 1300 – depending on your fondness for self inflicted drudgery. It is a great story, poorly written.

But that is kinda the conservative burden in literature. While the facts of life are undeniably conservative, our values only play out in dystopian futures when put into book form. The world has a proclivity bent towards apocalypse, this becomes clear when one attempts to assert the facts of life on democratic forms of government. The road to hell is paved with well intentioned fiscal responsibility – or something like that.

Across the isle – no such burden exists. Turns out that Utopia can be fought for much longer than Dystopia. Facts of life be damned, liberal politics is a grand play, and all the world is its stage.

We saw such political-thespianism on display at the peoples playhouse in Oklahoma City recently. In a very Henry V way, a color coordinated mob overtook the halls of the legislature. Through sheer force of visual demonstration, the actors in life play confront the villain in the rotunda centric halls of power.

Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention!

A kingdom for a stage,

princes to act,

And Monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

-Henry V, Shakespeare

The optics are grand. In our ever expanding spectrum of color related causes, green is for mental health and red is for substance abuse. Elected Republicans traditionally wear red ties, but the 4th floor rotunda showed the people who are really in charge of this red-state.

The political play has a tragically humorous undertone. This play, well choreographed, has a very weak script. This is not a grand demonstration against injustice; it is a demonstration against potential future budget cuts to particular programs and the Legislature fails to act on a stop-gap measure to address a budget shortfall. The facts of life are conservative – and boring as hell.

There is no winning a clash in today’s America when you are the guy running on stage, interrupting great literature with your facts of life shtick. It does not matter if you have Shakespeare Mused fire, today your are the guy clad in tights yelling at a human skull to an audience that is waiting for the cast of Hamilton to work a Trump joke into the opening number. Red t-shirt beats red necktie.

I actually suspect the Oklahoma Legislature will have to cut funding to mental health services. The state does need to make up $215million bucks, and you can’t take it all from Russell Westbrook. Inside the capital this will prompt a matrix-style compromise between rival factions and Mental Health will take some portion of the action right in the spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter if they eat the whole $215 million or $2.15, the activated mob will blame every unfortunate event in the state that has any mental health component, on the budget cuts from the day with all the red and green shirts.

This event, t-shirts colliding with the facts of life, was organized by the Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association. Facts don’t matter, but the Oklahoma Behavior Health Association won the day by deploying a thespian filled army on the grand stage of politics. Muse of Fire for the win.

Republicans win on the budget, but they forget that the facts of life extend beyond fiscal responsibility. The truth is, Oklahoma has a big mental health problem. Lack of funding, or fully funded Oklahoma Behavior Health Association will both leave mental health under-treated in the Sooner State. Conservatives will be holding the bag either way.

A freedom minded person would do well to make sure spreadsheet tomfoolery does not proliferate at 23rd and Lincoln, but would also be keenly aware of the mental health nightmare which bubbles slightly under the surface of a prosperous and relatively free state. Sorry, but you can’t ignore the real ills of society because treasure is misallocated in the capital. The only compelling story in this case is one where Republicans go full Richard Reardon on the mental health system. Reardon Metal revolutionized the endless pages of Ayn Rand’s future world. In Oklahoma, conservatives must find a mental health innovation to overcome the stagnant and regulated world we currently live.

No idea how to do this, but that is kinda the point. If conservatives want to do something about mental health realities in Oklahoma, a bunch of private people will have to put their time, talent and treasure into it. You can start with churches, universities, small 501-c3, or do something on your own. If you don’t do something, the guys in red t-shirts will have to get their funding.

If the facts of life are to be conservative, then conservatives must confront those facts. The facts in this case are simple.

1- Oklahoma has a mental health crisis.

2- Right now, conservatives are the one’s interested in denying service to sick people.

3- The only people with answers, the mob with the t-shirts and hats.

I’ve long hoped that politics could get away from the mob/Henry V style theater; but give the Devil his due, that isn’t going to happen. Yet, in the coming world where spreadsheets will have no choice but to balance themselves, conservatives will have the chance to fill the void when funding dries up and liberal dreams are literally shuttered. The future does not belong to public institutes of this or that, but to free people who have the compassion and innovation to address the great tragedies of this world. Without that, we just have tax-cuts.

About Andrew K. Boyle

A five year resident of Oklahoma and a graduate of Azusa Pacific University, Andrew K. Boyle currently writes from a gulch hidden in the mountains of Colorado. He is the author of the new book The Courage to Rebel: breaking a corrupt system Available at Amazon.com. You can follow him on twitter @andrewkboyle

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